Billie Joe Armstrong's THESE PAPER BULLETS, SEX WITH STRANGERS, BIG SKY Premiere and More Set for the Geffen's 2015-16 Season

Billie Joe Armstrong's THESE PAPER BULLETS, SEX WITH STRANGERS, BIG SKY Premiere and More Set for the Geffen's 2015-16 Season

Geffen Playhouse announces its coming landmark season which underscores the two decades of world-class theater the not-for-profit organization has produced since its 1995 opening. Artistic Director Randall Arney's selections feature some of theater's most established artists: Tony, Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award winner John Patrick Shanley; four Pulitzer Prize finalists Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros, Rolin Jones, Rajiv Joseph, and Sarah Ruhl; multi-Grammy Award winner Billie Joe Armstrong; House of Cards writer Laura Eason, and much produced playwright Bess Wohl (American Hero, Pretty Filthy).

The seven plays currently announced in the Geffen Playhouse's Gil Cates and Audrey Skirball Kenis Theaters includes the world premiere of BIG SKY written by Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros (Omnium Gatherum)and directed by Tony Award winner John Rando (The Underpants, All in the Timing); the West Coast premieres of the recently announced THESE PAPER BULLETS! A Modish Ripoff of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing written by Rolin Jones (Friday Night Lights, Boardwalk Empire), songs by Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong, directed by Jackson Gay and co-produced with Atlantic Theater Company; BARCELONA by Bess Wohl, directed by Trip Cullman (Choir Boy); SEX WITH STRANGERS by Laura Eason (House of Cards) and directed by Kimberly Senior (Disgraced on Broadway); GUARDS AT THE TAJ written by Steinberg Award recipient Rajiv Joseph (Broadway's Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo) and directed by a veteran of Joseph's work, Giovanna Sardelli; and new Geffen Playhouse productions of OUTSIDE MULLINGAR by John Patrick Shanley (Four Dogs and a Bone, Moonstruck, Doubt), directed by Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director Randall Arney; and STAGE KISS by Sarah Ruhl (The Clean House), directed by Ovation Award winner, Bart DeLorenzo (Shipwrecked, Coney Island Christmas, Death of the Author). One final production will be announced shortly.

Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director Randall Arney says, "For the last twenty years, Geffen Playhouse productions have been destinations for artists and audience alike - drawing from our Los Angeles roots and building national as well as international acclaim. Having the privilege of serving as artistic director for fifteen of those years, I see this season is indeed a landmark. Our two decades of prior work produced theatrical touchstones for the broad community we serve, and in that way, this coming season is no different."

"We seek plays that speak to our audience. Recently, a critic said that our plays have also begun to 'speak to each other' and that is the dialogue these plays celebrate. Our landmark 20th anniversary season speaks with the creative community of playwrights, directors, actors and designers that bring our theaters a vibrancy as full and rich as any I have experienced in my career. The events of one play resonate with the events of others, creating a dialogue with audience and artists that began when Gil Cates founded our theater two decades ago. The coming season adds to that conversation by introducing a new vanguard of artists and pillars of American playwriting to our ever-expanding audience."

To renew or purchase a new subscription, please call the subscriber hotline at 310.208.2028 (Monday - Friday 10:00am - 6:00pm; Saturday & Sunday 12:00pm - 6:00pm); for more information, visit www.geffenplayhouse.com.

The West Coast premiere of THESE PAPER BULLETS! A Modish Ripoff of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing begins the season in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse (September 8 - October 18, 2015). THESE PAPER BULLETS! was written by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Emmy Award nominated writer Rolin Jones with songs by Grammy Award winner Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong and staged by Jackson Gay. The musical was commissioned by Yale Repertory Theatre where it premiered in 2014 and will be co-produced with Atlantic Theater Company.

Los Angeles audiences may recall the Geffen Playhouse and Atlantic Theater Company last teamed-up in 2009 for the Atlantic Theater Company production of Farragut North. The Los Angeles run featured Dan Bittner, Mia Barron, Justin Huen, Chris Noth, Chris Pine, Olivia Thirlby and Isiah Whitlock, Jr.; the play enjoyed sell-out houses every performance and was later adapted into a feature film.

GUARDS AT THE TAJ (October 6 - November 15, 2015) is written by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Steinberg Award recipient Rajiv Joseph. The West Coast premiere will begin the season in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse. Joseph's other works include Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Animals Out of Paper, and Gruesome Playground Injuries, as well as seasons three and four of the Showtime series, Nurse Jackie. Guards at the Taj recently received the Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award. New York Magazine said Rajiv Joseph is, "a real stage poet ... not afraid to debate the cosmos. His voice is a major one," and the Los Angeles Times called him, "one of the most provocatively talented American playwrights." Giovanna Sardelli, who has helmed over a half-dozen of Joseph's plays, will direct.

OUTSIDE MULLINGAR (November 10 - December 20, 2015) is written by Tony Award, Pulitzer Prize, and Academy Award winner John Patrick Shanley. This modern romantic comedy, set in the Irish countryside, received a 2014 Tony Award nomination for Best Play. The New York Times called it, "Shanley's finest work since Doubt." Four Dogs and a Bone, also written by Shanley, opened the inaugural Geffen Playhouse season in October of 1995. Outside Mullingar will open within weeks of that 20 year commemorative date and longtime Geffen Playhouse Artistic Director Randall Arney will helm the production.

BARCELONA (February 2 - March 13, 2016) is set against the backdrop of Spanish city's beautifully unfinished cathedral, La Sagrada Familia. Written by actor and playwright Bess Wohl (Flight Plan, Heights) and directed by Trip Cullman (Choir Boy) this West Coast premiere examines the tragedies and triumphs that have the power to build us up, as well as tear us down. The Philadelphia Inquirer said of Wohl's work, "It's been a long time since a new work has challenged the core of existence."

The season continues in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater with SEX WITH STRANGERS (March 1 - April 10, 2016) by Laura Eason and directed by Kimberly Senior. Sex with Strangers, which received its world premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, follows two writers, from different generations, as they approach love, sex and literature in comically different ways. Newsweek said of Sex with Strangers, "Laura Eason's incisive look at the double edged quest for artistic validation in the digital era...a compelling, comic drama...deftly encapsulates the divide between Gen-X and Gen-Y."

The Geffen brings one of America's most celebrated playwrights to the Gil Cates Theater with Sarah Ruhl's STAGE KISS (April 5 - May 15, 2016), directed by Geffen alum Bart DeLorenzo. Ruhl is a Pulitzer Prize finalist, MacArthur Fellow and PEN winner and her other works include The Clean House, Eurydice and In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play. Stage Kiss follows former spouses and actors on and off-stage as they navigate a forgotten 1930's melodrama, quickly losing touch with what is real and what is theater. The New York Times hailed Stage Kiss as a, "Critic's Pick. Suffused with warmth and humor. Sarah Ruhl frothily whips together a romantic comedy and backstage farce in this lively comedy."

Geffen Playhouse concludes its Gil Cates Theater season with the world premiere of BIG SKY (June 7 - July 17, 2016) by Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros, directed by Geffen Alumni John Rando (Tony Award winner for Urinetown, On the Town on Broadway). Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros is a Pulitzer Prize finalist for co-writing the post-9/11 work, Omnium Gatherum with Theresa Rebeck.

A final production will be announced for the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater to complete Geffen Playhouse's usual eight-play season offering.


2015/2016 GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE SEASON:

The Yale Repertory Theatre Production of
THESE PAPER BULLETS!
A Modish Ripoff of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing
Written by Rolin Jones
Songs by Billie Joe Armstrong
Directed by Jackson Gay
A Co-Production with Atlantic Theater Company
West Coast Premiere in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
September 8 - October 18, 2015
Pulitzer Prize nominee Rolin Jones (Friday Night Lights, Weeds) joins multi-Grammy Award winner Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day, American Idiot) for, "A Modish Ripoff of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing," with a serious backbeat.

GUARDS AT THE TAJ
Written by Rajiv Joseph
Directed by Giovanna Sardelli
West Coast Premiere in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
October 6 - November 15, 2015
Pulitzer Prize finalist and Ovation Award winner Rajiv Joseph (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo) brings a violently beautiful, gruesomely funny comedy to the intimate Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse.

OUTSIDE MULLINGAR
Written by John Patrick Shanley
Directed by Randall Arney
In the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
November 10 - December 20, 2015
Pulitzer Prize, Tony and Academy Award winner John Patrick Shanley sets this modern romantic comedy in the Irish countryside. Los Angeles audiences will be treated to this heartwarming love story after a successful Broadway engagement.

BARCELONA
Written by Bess Wohl
Directed by Trip Cullman
West Coast Premiere in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
February 2 - March 13, 2016
This searing and seductive look at values and cultural collisions bursts through the backdrop of Gaudi's beautifully unfinished Sagrada Familia Cathedral. This new play's biting humor uncovers the individual tragedies and triumphs that have the power to build us up as well as tear us down.

SEX WITH STRANGERS
Written by Laura Eason
Directed by Kimberly Senior
West Coast Premiere in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
March 1 - April 10, 2016
The title says it all - or does it - in this provocative new work about two writers approaching love, sex and literature in comically different ways.
STAGE KISS
Written by Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Bart DeLorenzo
In the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
April 5 - May 15, 2016
MacArthur "Genius Grant" recipient and Pulitzer finalist Sarah Ruhl's new comedy follows former spouses and actors on and off-stage (and script) - helmed by Ovation Award winner and Geffen alumni Bart DeLorenzo.

BIG SKY
Written by Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros
Directed by John Rando
World Premiere in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
June 7 - July 17, 2016
Tony Award winning director and Geffen Playhouse alumni John Rando helms this brilliant new family comedy from Pulitzer nominee Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros.


ABOUT GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE - Geffen Playhouse has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors in 1995. Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its world-renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works and second productions, the not-for-profit organization continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition. Named in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, the company was founded by Gilbert Cates, and is currently helmed by Artistic Director Randall Arney, Interim Managing Director Gil Cates Jr., and Co-Chairs of the Board Martha Henderson and Pamela Robinson Hollander. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains an extensive education and outreach program, designed to engage young people and the community at large in the arts. For more information, please visit www.geffenplayhouse.com.

ABOUT ATLANTIC THEATER COMPANY (CO-PRODUCER, THESE PAPER BULLETS!) - Atlantic Theater Company (Neil Pepe, Artistic Director; Jeffory Lawson, Managing Director) is the award winning Off-Broadway theater that produces great plays simply and truthfully, utilizing an artistic ensemble. Atlantic believes that the story of a play and the intent of its playwright are at the core of the creative process. The plays in the Atlantic repertory, from both new and established playwrights, are boldly interpreted by today's finest theater artists and resonate with contemporary audiences. Since its inception over 29 years ago, Atlantic has produced more than 150 plays. Atlantic has garnered 12 Tony Awards, 12 Lucille Lortel Awards, 15 Obie Awards, seven Drama Desk Awards, five Outer Critics Circle Awards and three Drama League Awards. Atlantic also operates The Atlantic Theater Company Acting School, which has an undergraduate program in conjunction with NYU, as well as a two-year professional acting program and a six-week intensive workshop every summer. Atlantic for Kids and the Educational Outreach Program partners with schools and teachers throughout the greater New York metropolitan area coordinating in-school visits of teaching artists and post-theater talkbacks.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos


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